|03||20100728||Continuing our series in which Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim talks to Donald Macleod. This third programme focuses on just two musicals: Sweeney Todd, widely regarded as Sondheim's masterpiece, an extraordinarily powerful work which he has modestly described as "a small and scary evening about the need for revenge"; and Merrily We Roll Along, a tale of disintegrating friendships and compromised idealism, narrated, in a characteristic structural twist, backwards. Sweeney Todd was a huge success and is widely performed today, from schools (in a special educational edition) to opera houses; despite a marvellous score, Merrily We Roll Along failed to catch the public mood and remains Sondheim's biggest flop to date. Among other topics, Sondheim also discusses his long-time collaboration with director Hal Prince, the logistics of working with an orchestrator, and the heart attack he suffered in 1979, just three weeks after the opening of Sweeney.|
By Chris Barstow.
Donald Macleod focuses on two Sondheim musicals - Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along.